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Velopharyngeal function with and without speech bulb after palatoplasty

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Author(s):
Raquel Rodrigues
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Bauru.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Odontologia de Bauru (FOB/SDB)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Maria Ines Pegoraro Krook; Camila Queiroz de Moraes Silveira di Ninno; Renata Paciello Yamashita
Advisor: Maria Ines Pegoraro Krook
Abstract

Introduction: Individuals with cleft palate can present velopharyngeal dysfunction after primary palatoplasty and thus require a secondary procedure. In these cases, the speech bulb can be used temporarily while waiting for the surgery, besides functioning as a diagnostic or even a therapy tool. Objective: This study aimed to compare the speech resonance in the conditions with and without speech bulb. Methods: The sample of this study had 30 unilateral cleft lip and palate patients, 15 females and 15 males, who underwent primary palatoplasty between 9 and 18 months of age. All of them remained with velopharyngeal insufficiency after primary palatoplasty and were making temporary use of speech bulb (for at least 6 months) while waiting improvement of velopharyngeal function for defining a surgical procedure to repair the failure. Their ages ranged between 6 and 14 years (Mean = 9 years) by the time the evaluation was performed. The velopharyngeal function was assessed by means of the Hypernasality Test and by the perceptual judgement of the hypernasality occurrence (presence/absence), by listeners, both with and without speech bulb. Results: In Hypernasality Test, the result has shown an average of 2.64 in the condition with speech bulb and an average of 9.77 without speech bulb. The difference between the two conditions was statistically significant, showing an improvement in velopharyngeal function with the use of speech bulb. The judgement of the hypernasality occurrence performed by judges has shown an intrajudge agreement of 100% with speech bulb and 83% without speech bulb, and an interjudge agreement varying from 83% to 97% with speech bulb and of 93% without the bulb. The results of the judgements revealed presence of hypernasality without speech bulb for 28 (93%) patients and absence of that for 2 (7%). With speech bulb only 9 (30%) patients were judged to present hypernasality, and 21 (70%) were judged to be normal. The difference between the two conditions was statistically significant, demonstrating significant improvement in speech resonance with the use of speech bulb. Conclusion: The temporary use of speech bulb was able to correct velopharyngeal insufficiency and eliminate hypernasality for most patients of this study, thus enabling to predict good speech prognosis with the indication of a secondary surgery. (AU)